This marks my fourth foray into blogging for MusiCB3, and will be the second post where I haven’t been given a topic to write about. My first thought was to check whether there were any exciting anniversaries to mark around this time. For example, nearly 200 years ago to the day, on the 27th November 1814, Winkel demonstrated his newly-invented ‘cronometer’ in Amsterdam (an example is held at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague). And tomorrow, we can commemorate 90 years since the death of Puccini, who was in the middle of writing Turandot when he suffered a heart attack.
But there’s not much I can say about either of these particular anniversaries that relates particularly to the collections here in the Pendlebury or the UL. Maybe one of the composers’ archives holds their metronome? [A colleague says no metronome, but one archive does have a flute…!] So my thoughts turned to recent music news and articles. Firstly there was the “eerie music” coming from Comet 67P , and the inevitable parallels being drawn in the Twittersphere with the Clangers. However, the only way I can really relate this to the collections is that a certain colleague used to live next door to the Postgate’s old home (I’m not sure this really counts)!
Another bit of news that struck a chord with me (sorry, pun absolutely intended) was on the Library of Congress’s blog: Billy Joel winning the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. It sounds like it was a grand affair celebrating a real talent, and I did feel a bit envious of the Library of Congress Chorale getting involved – I wonder how they compare to our own University Library choir, who are hard at work rehearsing for their annual carols in the Entrance Hall at noon on Friday 12th and Wednesday 17th of December (come and listen!). I’ve been to the Library of Congress, and even if you’re not a library worker, or even a library aficionado, it’s definitely worth a visit. The building is beautiful, and they always have great exhibitions on. Plus they have Gershwin’s piano. I did laugh on the tour when the guide warned us about the marble steps being uneven due to the age of the building (slightly more than 100 years old) – have you seen the entrances to some of the Cambridge colleges?! (Jesus College, I’m thinking of you…)
Then I found something I thought was at least relevant to students here, if not to the collections themselves: how college students *really* do research. This is interesting as I’ve just been pestering our students for feedback from the libraries’ inductions and skills sessions. There were some really good comments (the UL posse were charmed by the description “passionate librarians” that one student used!) and some helpful ideas, which we’re going to look at, both to improve things immediately and for planning next year’s inductions and skills sessions. Hopefully we’ll go into more detail about this at some point, but one thing I can probably write about here is photocopying and printing in the Pendlebury Library, which was mentioned by a few students as requiring a bit more explanation.
The photocopying room is immediately on your left as you enter the Pendlebury Library. You need a photocopy card like this one, which you can purchase from the library staff for £1. Then go to the photocopying room, and you can add credit to your card using this machine (insert card, add coins, retrieve card). To photocopy, insert your card into the card reader and the photocopier will spring to life, ready to copy. Don’t forget to retrieve your card when you’re finished! You’ll also need a card (and a memory stick) if you want to do any scanning – there are instructions for this on the wall above the photocopier.
The library has two computers in the Audio Room, which are both connected to the printer. To log onto the computer (at this screen), you need your Faculty password, which is in the induction pack you received when you first started. If you’ve forgotten it (and never changed it) library staff can let you know what it is. To print, you’ll need to log into your print credit (at this prompt) using your Desktop Services password, which is the university-wide computing service. You top this credit up online as and when – some colleges use this, some use their own system. If you’ve forgotten this password, the library staff *can’t* help you, and be advised that if you request a password reset from Desktop Services, it isn’t immediate, so please don’t leave it two minutes before your submission deadline to try and print out your work!
Hope you find this useful, and if you have any suggestions for other tips and advice we can help with, why not leave us a comment?